Holiday Manners Tips from Mannerly Manners

Brush up on your manners this holiday season with our local expert.

With the holidays just around the corner, it’s time to concentrate on guests and the plethora of social events filling up your calendar. As joyful as the season is, stress can be high and interacting with all kinds of people—often all in one place—can be challenging, but Marilyn Pentel of Minnetrista’s Mannerly Manners knows just how to handle those situations.

For those of you with houseguests, Pentel says the comfort of the guest should always be your first priority. In her own home, Pentel sets out books she thinks the guest might like and puts candies on their pillow. She always includes a unisex bathrobe, hair products and other bathroom necessities. The little things are what are important, she says.

“They should really feel like they’re at home,” Pentel says. “You’re giving them that space, so it does belong to them.”

But knowing how to be a perfect guest is also important. A hostess gift is essential, but avoid flowers that will die quickly. Shoot for something like a bucket of red apples or a potted plant. If you choose wine, make sure to wrap it and tell the host that it is for them only, not for the party. Try to be respectful of the family’s traditions. This is especially important around the holidays when traditions tend to be a little more prevalent.

“Be accommodating. It’s not only a lot of work, but it’s also expensive to have someone in your home,” says Pentel. “Be aware of that.”